GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: the Near/Middle East
August 6, 1998: Hanan Ashrawi, a female political activist for the Palestinian people, resigns her government post in protest against political corruption.

After holding several official posts, including head of the political committee of the Palestinian Authority, Hanan Ashrawi leaves the government to protest the political corruption she observed in Yasser Arafat's handling of peace talks. A Christian educated at the American University in Beirut and the University of Virginia, she first enters the political scene in 1988, advancing an image of Palestinians as victims of oppression and becoming one of the first Palestinian figures to transcend the media's popular "terrorist" stereotype. An activist as well as an academic, in 1999 Ashrawi founds MIFTAH, a group dedicated to promoting the Palestinian cause and ending Israeli occupation by focusing on humanitarian rather than ideological or historical arguments. She continues to serve as the organization's secretary general and as a Palestinian legislator.

PBS Hanan Ashrawi
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/middle_east /july-dec00/ashrawi_10-31.html

Palestinian spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi gives NewsHour a Palestinian perspectve on the Arab-Israeli conflict.